Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Month: May, 2014

The worm turns, no. 2.

A WHITE MAN MURDERED BY A FREE NEGRO. – The Murderer Hung. – We learn by a private letter from Wilkesboro that on the 1st instant a number of men in Wilkes county attempted to press a free negro by the name of Fletcher into the army as a servant. The negro fled, was pursued and caught. He then drew a pistol and shot his capturer, a Mr Carrender, through, killing him instantly. He was then carried to Wilkesboro and lodged in jail. On the following Thursday, the 3rd, an excited crowd gathered at the jail, and took the negro out and hung him until he was dead. – Raleigh Register.

The Charlotte Democrat, 22 October 1861.

Diligent search has been made for her.


PATTY, a free negro, aged about 60 years, has a dark complexion and stout frame, is insane, though harmless and in feeble health. She left my farm near Hillsborough a few days since, where she has been living several years with her relations. Diligent search has been made for her, but without effect. She was seen near Mr. Parrish’s, and between the race ground and Mr. Huntington’s old place. Any information concerning her will be thankfully received, and any person who will bring her home will be paid for his trouble by the subscriber. C. Jones.  June 17.

Hillsborough Recorder, 18 June 1834.

The worm turns, no. 1.

Murder in Henderson.

Mr. J.T. Henry, of Henderson county, while chastising a free negro named Abe Revels, on the 22d ult., was stabbed twice, and died the next day. The negro has been lodged in Jail in Hendersonville, to await his trial.

Asheville News, 6 August 1857.

He tore up and destroyed his free papers.


Mr. James Franklin, a blind man, and a resident of Columbia, S.C., was arrested in this city yesterday, having been detected in endeavoring to sell a free negro into bondage. It appears that Franklin, about a week ago, went to Charlotte, N.C., where he made it known that he wished to hire a free negro to go with him and take care of him on a trip to the Virginia Springs. Harmon Proctor, a free negro, was recommended, and accepted the position. Franklin, having made his arrangements, went from Charlotte to Richmond, Va., when he changed his destination, and shortly after left for Greenville, Tennessee, where he has a brother living. After remaining there a few days, Franklin went to Louisville, and thence to Cincinnati, where he chanced to meet a free negro named A.W. Thompson, whom he engaged to accompany him to New Orleans, at which point it was understood that he intended to send Proctor home, taking Thompson for his body servant. In getting as far as Vicksburg, however, Thompson (who is a very bright mulatto, and a fellow of much shrewdness) learned of the disabilities imposed on free negroes by the laws of Louisiana, and prevailed upon Mr Franklin to return, which he did on the Edward J. Gay, which reached here on yesterday afternoon. While the Gay was discharging freight, Thompson prevailed upon Franklin to stop in Memphis for a day or two, and shortly after they made an attempt to sell Harmon Proctor as a slave. Proctor discovered what they were about after they had got him to the slave-dealer’s mart, and showed to the proposed purchaser the evidence of his freedom, which being shown to Mr Franklin, he immediately tore up and destroyed in the presence of the slave-dealer. These facts coming to the knowledge of the officers, the kidnappers, James Franklin (white) and A.W. Thompson (colored), were lodged in jail to await trial, as well also the negro whom they attempted to sell.

James Franklin is said to be a man of means living in Columbia, S.C., and a little fast in his expenditures for a blind man. It is supposed that the wily Cincinnati free negro first conceived the idea of selling Harmon Proctor into slavery, and then inveigled Franklin into it. Fortunately they are all in jail, and the guilty party will be made to suffer the full penalty of the law. – Memphis Enquirer.

The Charlotte Democrat, 9 October 1860.


In the 1850 census of Cleveland County, Harmon Proctor, 18, in the household of white farmer William H. Cabaniss.

On 22 December 1856, Hermon Proctor married Anny Freeman. Rowan County Marriage Records.

Asheville ordinances, part 1.


Be it further Ordained, That if any free negro, or free mulatto, shall be found off of the premises to him or her belonging, or off of the premises where such free negro or free mulatto usually resides in the town of Asheville, between the hours of 9 o’clock, P.M., and day light on the succeeding morning, every free negro, or free mulatto, so offending shall forfeit and pay for every such offence one dollar, and shall, moreover, be committed by the town Patrol, or any member thereof, to the room in the public Jail in the town of Asheville, prepared for the purpose, and shall there be confined until 7 o’clock on the morning succeeding such committal. – Provided, nevertheless, That any free negro, or free mulatto, may procure a permit from any three Commissioners of the town of Asheville, to be upon the streets and off his or her premises, or the premises where such free negro or free mulatto usually resides, after the hour of 9 o’clock, P.M.

Be it further Ordained, That if any free negro, or free mulatto, shall be found drunk, or under the influence of intoxicating liquors of any kind whatsoever, within the corporate limits of the town of Asheville, such free negro, or free mulatto, shall be lodged in the room in the public Jail in the town of Asheville prepared for that purpose, until discharged by the order of the Mayor of said town, and shall for every such offence forfeit and pay the sum of three dollars.

Asheville News, 10 June 1858.

Knocked off the locomotive.


A free negro man named Shadrack Manly, employed as a fireman on board of the Rail Road train for 8 or 10 years, was knocked off from the Locomotive, on Saturday afternoon, by striking against a post of the county bridge that runs across the Road, about 200 yards above the Depot. He was standing with one foot on the brake, and leaning over, when the accident happened. He fell under the wheels, which run over his face and killed him instantly. – The Coroners’ jury brought in a verdict in accordance with the above facts.

Weekly Commercial (Wilmington), 20 July 1849.

Recommended to the mercy.

SENTENCED TO BE HANGED. — At Wake Superior Court last week, John Locklear, a free negro, convicted of burglary, was sentenced to be hanged on the 16th of May, but was recommended to the mercy of the Governor by the Jury and the members of the Bar.

Asheville News, 1 May 1856.

Interesting cases.


… On Wednesday there was a case which excited considerable interest, the case of the State vs. Enoch Going. The State was represented by Mr. Solicitor Masten, and Going was defended by J.R. McLean and A.H. Joyce, Esquires. This was an indictment against the said defendant, who was charged in the bill as being a free negro, for migrating into this State from Virginia, contrary to our Act of Assembly. The defendant, through his counsel, denied that he is a free negro, and alleged that he is of Indian extraction. The Jury, on the testimony before them, acquitted him.

On the same day, Rowan Stewart and Harston Stewart, free negroes and brothers, were arraigned on a charge of having gambled with a slave, Calvin, the property of Alexander Martin. The State was assisted by J.R. McLean, Esq., and Mr. Morehead appeared for the defendants. The testimony showed that the free negroes and slaves played at a game of cards on the Sabbath day and directly on the side of a public road; that the three had liquor and were drinking; and that, after they were discovered by the witness, much abusive language passed between them, and that this ended in a fight. It was an aggravated case. The defendants submitted to a verdict of guilty and endeavored to beg; but the court, and very properly too, sentenced them to thirty-nine lashes each, a fine of $20 a piece,and to be hired out for the cost and fines, if not secured. These, however, were secured.

The Greensboro Times, 24 March 1860.


In the 1850 census of Stokes County, Harston Stewart, 15, in the household of white farmer Hugh Martin.

The wheel had passed upon his neck.

Inquest. — On Friday last, Mr. Frederick Moore, Coroner, held an inquest on the body of a free colored man named William Blalock, of Robeson County, who was found dead on the evening previous, about four miles from town on the Rockfish Factory Road. It appeared that he had fallen from his cart in a state of intoxication, and that the wheel had passed upon his neck, and whilst in that position the ox stopped, leaving the wheel resting on his neck. Verdict accordingly. — Fayetteville Obs.

The Greensboro Patriot, 9 December 1843.

Runaway bound boy, no. 15.

Five Cents Reward.

RANAWAY from the subscriber, a few weeks since, an indented Apprentice by the name of EPHRAIM BURNETT; he is a dark complected colored boy, 15 to 16 years of age. Whoever will apprehend and deliver the said Boy to me in Fayetteville, shall be entitled to the above reward, but no thanks or charges. All persons are forbid harboring or employing him in any manner whatever.  JAMES BAKER. September 8, 1834.

Fayetteville Weekly Observer, 23 December 1834.